Reading for Pleasure
“I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most.”
"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body."
Here at St. Richard's we truly endeavour to embed a love for reading. As part of our daily reading activities, all children are able to develop their vocabulary, comprehension and reading skills through appropriate and targeted strategies to allow for every child to make and celebrate progress. Reading certificates are awarded on a weekly basis within our praise assemblies and individual 'wow' reading achievements are celebrated.
We have, and continue to grow, two wonderful libraries for our infants and juniors and invite parents and children to visit these on a weekly basis to continue to share reading experiences at home. We have established key stage book reviews, written by our children for our children. Additionally, we invite children across key stage 1 and 2 to come together and share their favourite stories with their peers or support our younger readers.
Our school newsletter contains a Book of the Month section, which details a book review of a staff favourite.
Throughout school staff share 'Read with Me' QR codes to allow children to explore and discover new authors and texts. During assemblies staff recommend and/or read extracts from books to celebrate and share a love for reading.
Throughout the year we have promoted a love of reading with a live production of Snow White, an author visit and workshop and an illustrator visit with for each year group's current or favourite text focus.
Reading and Phonics
Reading is fundamental and it is a vital step to the educational success of our pupils. It extends an opportunity to develop a rich vocabulary, influence high quality writing and also allows children to access other subjects.
We want our children to also develop a love of reading that will open their minds to a world of adventures and opportunities. We aim to develop their reading skills and provide opportunities that will take them beyond their day to day life experiences, developing a sense of curiosity and understanding of the world. Reading is central to day to day life in our school. Children are read to as a whole class daily, read in groups, read individually to an adult and read independently.
Our children’s journey to become fluent, independent readers begins at the very start of school in EYFS with Phonics.
The Pearson Phonics Bug programme follows an approach of synthesising phonemes associated with graphemes a child sees; learning to read by blending the sounds associated with the letters a child sees. Children are taught a daily structured, systematic, synthetic phonics session for approximately 30 minutes, following the Phonics Bug scheme. This is a DfE approved scheme and our school has complete fidelity to it. Daily sessions follow the same components:
- Revisit and review session – to reinforce prior learning to help children to know and remember more of their phonics learning
- Teach session for new learning – children learn a new grapheme/phoneme (letter/sound) correspondence
- Practise session – to consolidate new learning
- Application – children apply new learning into sentence reading or writing contexts to strengthen understanding
Grapheme/ phoneme (letter/ sound) correspondences for reading and spelling are taught in a specified order. ‘Tricky Words’ that cannot be decoded using phonics and need a whole word approach are also taught systematically throughout. Children are assessed regularly to ensure that any children experiencing difficulties are identified quickly and appropriate support can be put in place in a timely manner.
Bug Club Phonics E-books
Children read books from the Phonics Bug scheme that only contain phoneme/grapheme correspondences and ‘Tricky Words’ that they have already been taught. Some children may require additional support with their reading, and in that case, they receive additional phonics support. In addition to opportunities in school, children take books home to practise and apply their skills. Children and parents are encouraged to read each book together and reread books to encourage children to read as fluently as possible. Children have log in details to their own Active Learn account where they can access a library rich with eBooks and phonics games to practise and reinforce their learning. In Reception and Year 1 E-books are allocated alongside a range of interactive games and sessions to support phoneme/grapheme correspondence.
As detailed above, a phonics-based approach is used to start our children on their independent reading journey. Children learn to decode books that are closely matched to the graphemes (letters) and phonemes (sounds) they are currently learning.
When children are able to read fluently and independently, they are assessed using the Star Reading system for Accelerated Reader. The assessment provides a standardised score and a reading age for the child. If they achieve the required standard, they are then eligible to begin using Accelerated Reader. Teachers monitor children’s reading scores to ensure the system is right for them. In our school, Accelerated Reader is used to help children to develop a motivation for and love of reading independently as well as helping them to progress.
This approach moves away from the traditional reading scheme to include real books by a range of popular, modern and classic authors and poets. There are also non-fiction texts, graphic novels and play scripts to name a few additional text types. The system determines the level of readability for this vast range of texts. After assessment, children are allocated a numerical range from which they can choose books. This is closely monitored by teachers and support staff.
There is an expectation that children will read for at least 25 minutes each day between home and school. Independent reading and level of understanding is confirmed through an online retrieval quiz taken on the completion of a book. The aim is for children to achieve a minimum of 85% success rate over the term. Children are rewarded for achieving an average of 85% or above for the books they’ve read and with an engaged time of 25 minutes per day. They also achieve reading certificates based on their targets.